Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Adam “Damian” Lee was sentenced to eight years in prison for sex trafficking and other crimes for forcing a homeless woman into prostitution and threatening to physically harm another.

District Attorney Katz said: “The defendant used violence to cruelly exploit a victim at her lowest point,  forcing her to sell sex for cash that he kept for himself. He belongs in prison. Our Human Trafficking Bureau will continue working to stop this kind of craven criminal activity in Queens. We want anyone who is being exploited to know that if they need help, we will get them out of their circumstances.”

Lee, 29, of Hillside Avenue, in Jamaica, Queens, was sentenced yesterday by Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone Jr. to concurrent terms of eight years in prison for sex trafficking and 18 months to three years in prison for attempted aggravated criminal contempt.

According to the charges, on January 1, 2022, a 35-year-old woman who had been staying at the Floral Park Motor Lodge in Nassau County informed the hotel clerk that she could no longer afford to stay at the hotel.  Shortly after the conversation, the defendant appeared at the woman’s room door, identified himself as the clerk’s friend and claimed to have been sent by her. Once inside the room, Lee told the victim that she now worked for him and ordered her to remove her clothes and put on lingerie. When the woman refused, Lee pulled out a gun, threatened her and then forced her to take semi-nude photographs to be used for sex advertisements.

Additionally, during the month of January 2022, Lee took the woman to a residence and two hotels in Queens, including the Pergola Hotel and the Casa Azul Blue Hotel, and forced the victim to have sex with customers who paid Lee. On January 16, 2022, Lee assaulted the victim, punching her in the head and face and causing the woman to sustain a black eye, swelling and bruising. Lee also sexually assaulted and raped her. The woman managed to call police and was taken to a nearby Queens hospital for treatment.

Further, on January 31, 2021, at approximately 9:00 p.m., the defendant, in violation of an order of protection, confronted another victim, a 32-year-old woman, at the intersection of 186th Street and Hillside Avenue. The defendant verbally berated the woman and threatened her with physical harm. The defendant contacted the woman again on February 16, by text message, in violation of the order of protection, sending messages that insinuated he knew her location and would “stab” her.

Assistant District Attorney Tara DiGregorio, Deputy Bureau Chief in the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Bureau, prosecuted the sex trafficking case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jessica Melton, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard A. Brave. Assistant District Mia Piccininni, of the Felony Trials Bureau, prosecuted the aggravated attempted criminal contempt case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Robin Leopold, Bureau Chief, and Assistant District Attorneys Andrea Medina and Barry Weinrib, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and  under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Supreme Court Trial Division Pishoy B. Yacoub.

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